White Material - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

White Material Reviews

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Robbie Collin
News of the World
June 30, 2010
It's impossible to get a handle on Isabelle's reasons for standing up to the rebels. And no matter how smoothly shot the film might be, that's a problem.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Anthony Quinn
Independent (UK)
July 2, 2010
The director Claire Denis shuffles timeframes to no great purpose, though her real error is failing to spot the insoluble contradiction in Huppert's character: how can a woman so resourceful be so blind to the realities around her?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
December 17, 2010
It's one of those movies where questions like "Why didn't they do that?" or "Wait, what's their relationship?" keep popping up. And for the most part, those questions never get answered.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Frank Wilkins
Reel Reviews
January 17, 2011
While we get the idea Denis knows what she's doing with the metaphor of racial recompense in her movie, whether or not she "gets" the idea of fleshy, full-bodied characters grounded in a sense of viewer compassion is still up in the air.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
November 17, 2010
Almost everything here seems off.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
November 19, 2010
Fails in not indicating motivations, in leaving relationships fuzzy, and in having center Maria oblivious to the colossal ills that surround her but of which she partakes, as well.
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
December 9, 2010
It wallows so deep in the mud of its anti-colonial, anti-empire, western decadence sentiment it never comes up for air and slowly drowns upon arrival at its obvious destination.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Armond White
New York Press
November 17, 2010
Denis' elliptical narrative avoids politics. This siege tale ignores the details of colonial life to gloss its chaotic collapse. Her equanimity is tiresome.
Louis Proyect
December 10, 2010
Despite its "postcolonial" reputation, this film does not allow a single African--especially the most important character--to have a single important speech. The rebel soldiers function mainly as zombies breaking down plantation doors to kill people.
Robert W. Butler
Kansas City Star
March 11, 2011
Some will find White Material's puzzlements evocative. Others -- including yours truly -- will leave irritated and unfulfilled.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
Jenny Munro
The Skinny
July 1, 2010
Richly textured visuals and exquisitely maintained tension highlight Denis as a filmmaker completely in command of her craft.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 30, 2010
The urgent hopelessness of this dark and meaningful work is striking from the very start.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Corey Hall
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
December 17, 2010
...the film is as mesmerizing to watch as it is hopeless to draw deeper meaning from.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Jeremy Aspinall
Radio Times
July 8, 2010
Huppert is a magnetic presence in a film that sometimes conjures up the atmosphere of Walkabout or Aguirre, Wrath of God, as primal, almost elemental forces seem to bear down upon its protagonists.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 16, 2011
...an unsettling, harrowing look at the self-delusion of a colonialist who's convinced that she has become fully integrated into the country - and the family - she's occupied.
Full Review | Original Score: 87/100
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 18, 2010
This is a beautiful, puzzling film. The enigmatic quality of Huppert's performance draws us in.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 19, 2010
Its dramatic vexations are at war with Denis' prodigious visual skill. And the fight, ultimately, rewards the viewer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
William Goss
April 14, 2011
A maddening movie that gives the viewer plenty to think about, but little to care about.
Leo Robson
Financial Times
June 30, 2010
It is Denis' gift to make us care about her perverse or irrational characters without resorting to obvious coercion.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Lee Griffiths
Little White Lies
July 8, 2010
Another solid entry in the Denis resume.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
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